We’ve had the joy and pleasure of watching our young grands this week while their parents are out of the country. Schedules, appropriate clothes, practices–all need to be dealt with. Every parent becomes a professional juggler–and every person who chooses to step into those shoes must learn the fine art of multitasking.
Cal, at four, is quite the character. He’s smooth, flirtatious, and quite affable all at the same time. As we put him in bed at our home, he grinned and said, “This is such a lovely bed.” He’s called me lovely as well.
Who says lovely at age four?
He’s also quite adept at asking for and receiving what he wants. Even if he has to stretch the truth. As someone who maneuvers the world of smartphones better than I do, he informed me he prefers phones to television because he can get to his technical destination quicker on the phone. His “Please can I use your phone, Nana?” is always accompanied by the sweetest of smiles and a kiss on the cheek.
Nobody taught him such tactics, but he knows how to use his charm to get what he wants. A sweet con artist.
Most of us know how to finagle our way to get what we want. Whether it’s outright flattery, begging, or plain persistence, nobody had to teach us how to work a situation for our benefit.
Even if we have to lie about it.
When Adam and Eve were created by God and placed in the Garden of Eden, their relationship with Him was perfect. No fear, shame, blame, or guilt to separate them from the One who made them with love. They were given the run of the Garden, and they worked at caring for it. The work was enjoyable because there was nothing to steal their joy. They had one directive–don’t eat from the tree in the middle of the garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To eat that meant they’d die.
The devil was one of God’s angels who had been cast out of heaven because he wanted to be like God. He appeared before Eve as a serpent–but not a scary one, because there was nothing frightening in the garden.
He made Eve question God’s goodness and motives. “Did God really say you must not eat from any of the trees in the garden?” Genesis 3:1b
The devil spoke in extremes, knowing Eve would tell the truth of what God had said. He had her so confused that she replied that God had said they shouldn’t eat it or even touch it or they’d die.
The devil did then what he continues to do to this day.
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be LIKE GOD, knowing both good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5
The lie sounded better than the truth, and both Adam and Eve ate the fruit. The enemy’s con stole from them a relationship that had been perfect. He replaced trust with doubt–which every human has experienced since then. A chasm grew between God and us that we perpetuate.
God sent Jesus to bridge that chasm so we might know His love and forgiveness.
We need to choose to stop listening to the lies of the devil. They’re effective but subtle.
Who’d ever buy a lie that looks like a lie?
Lies always cost us.
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